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Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html

Monday, January 19, 2009

Israel has won a "victory"

Half-concealing a smile of self-satisfaction as he declared a unilateral ceasefire, the Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert has assured Israelis that “we won.” (Read full article in The Independent)

Yes, Israel might not have been able to topple the Gaza government, as it had wished for. It might not have been able to get Gazans to surrender. It might not have been even able to convince Gazans to accept its siege and occupation over them.

However, Israel can surely celebrate how its "brave", "invincible" and "powerful" army crushed a mostly defenseless Palestinian population of 1.5 million in Gaza. It can boast how its F-16s, Mirkava tanks, Apache Helicopters, bunker buster missiles, one-ton bombs, and White Phosphorous bombs targeted a Palestinian population that does not even have an army and certainly no fighter jets, tanks, or helicopters.

But the truth is that Israel and its military might had a victory; a shameful and immoral one on civilians and defenseless infrastructure, but Israeli leaders call it a victory. It is a victory in as much one can describe Nazi Germany’s brutal crushing of the Warsaw Ghetto a victory. Surely, Israel delivered on its Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai’s promise to the Palestinians to deliver a “bigger Holocaust”.

1,300 killed in Gaza, mostly civilians, including 410 children and 110 women. 5340 wounded, mostly civilians, including 1855 children and 755 women. Over $2 billion in damages to the infrastructure. Watch video.

One has to wonder whether the common Israeli believes that it was worth it. Is it worth the permanent images that people will associate Israel with? Is it worth the shameful insult to the memory of the Jewish victims of the horrific Holocaust in WWII? Is it worth the seeds of anger planted in the hearts of the tens of thousands of young Palestinians who lost their parents or siblings? Is Israel today more secure? Are Israelis today closer to being accepted by their neighbors? Was that really what the Zionist dream was all about after all? Was it a dream void of moral value and sense of humanity?

Israeli war criminals can celebrate their “victory” as they wish today. I am sure that at one point, Nazi war criminals had many days to celebrate their “victories” too, until justice caught up with them. Meanwhile, I will not celebrate anything. I will just mourn the death and suffering of the innocent people of Palestine and, yes, Israel too, who are the victims of a war by our world's latest apartheid and genocidal regime: Israel.

Below are a few photos from the "victory". The photos are taken from Yahoo’s slideshow on Monday, January 19th, 2009 and are shared for informational and non-commercial purposes.

Israeli soldiers celebrate after leaving the Gaza Strip into Israel (AP)

An Israeli soldier prays next to ammunition on the Israel-Gaza border (AP)

Israeli soldier prays near an armoured vehicle outside the northern Gaza Strip January 19, 2009 (Reuters)

In this AFP photo released by the Israeli Government Press Office, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, second from left, shakes hands with Czech Republic Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, second from right, as British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, right, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, look on during a meeting of European leaders to discuss the situation in Gaza at the Israeli Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem, Sunday, Jan. 18, 2009

Palestinian boy carries wood from destroyed houses to use as firewood in the heavily hit eastern area of Jebaliya (AP)

Palestinian girl Lina Dardonah, 12, carries her teddy bear as she collects her belongings from the rubble of a building destroyed during the Israeli army operation in Gaza, east of Jebaliya refugee camp (AP)

Palestinian Maysa Salalfa, 13, wounded by shrapnel to her head during the Israeli army operation grimaces as she lays in the damaged family house in Gaza City (AP)

People walk through the rubble of houses, destroyed during the Israeli army operations, in Gaza City, Monday Jan. 19 , 2009.

Palestinians inspect the rubble of buildings in the eastern area of Jebaliya after Israeli troops withdrew from the northern Gaza Strip

A Palestinian man prays inside his destroyed apartment in the eastern area of Jebaliya, in the northern Gaza strip, Monday, Jan. 19, 2009 (AP)

Pope Benedict XVI asked people to pray for the 'hundreds' of children, elderly and women who have been killed during the Israeli offensive in Gaza (AP)

An Israeli left-wing Peace Now activist holds a banner during a demonstration outside Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's residence in Jerusalem as a meeting between him and European leaders takes place inside, Sunday, Jan. 18, 2009. (AP)

A Palestinian man sits on the rubble of a building that was destroyed by an Israeli air strike in Rafah on the southern Gaza Strip. (AFP)

A mosque hit by Israeli army rockets is seen in Gaza City's al-Zeitoun neighborhood. (About two dozen mosques were destroyed by Israel)

Palestinian Abdullah Salmi stands next to his house after it was destroyed during the Israeli army operation in the Gaza City neighborhood of Zeytoun (AP)

The hand of a member of the Palestinian Samoni family, killed on January 5, 2009 during the Israeli army operation in Gaza, is trapped under the rubble of the family house in Gaza City (AP)

A Palestinian girl stands in front of a destroyed house on the outskirts of Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip

A Palestinian girl carries salvaged belongings as she walks amidst rubble past destroyed houses in the heavily hit eastern area of Jebaliya (AP)

A Palestinian girl stands amongst the ruins of destroyed houses on the outskirts of Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip (Reuters)

A Palestinian woman salvages some of the family's belongings from the rubble of their home in Gaza City (AP)

Fatma Zidane El-Banneh, 8, right, and her mother Azza, left, are pictured after returning from hospital to the Beit Lahiya Elementary Co-educational school, where Azza claims Fatma was burned by white phosphorus (AP)

Even the doves are escaping Israel's massacres in Gaza

Palestinians collect belongings from the rubble of a building in the eastern area of Jebaliya after Israeli troops withdrew in the northern Gaza Strip (AP)

Palestinians are seen at a building, damaged during the Israeli army operation in Gaza, in the town of Rafah (AP)

A Palestinian girl clutching a piece of bread runs after her family as they return to their house in Rafah, in the southern Gaza strip (AP)

A Palestinian boy stands next to his family's house, destroyed during Israel's offensive, in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip (Reuters)

A Palestinian boy stands on the wall of a destroyed house after the Israeli army operation in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza strip

A Palestinian boy rescues a rabbit while looking for his belongings amid the ruins of a building in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip (AFP)

A Palestinian boy peers out from a destroyed building in Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip

A Palestinian woman carries her baby through the rubble of buildings left after Israeli operations in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip (AP)


Kathleen said...

Israel as you know did not win a victory.They did not meet their goal which was to overturn a democratic election. They lost more of what honor they might have had..which of course is in the negative. They lost the propaganda campaign;the world this time more than in Lebanon 2006 have seen how ruthless they are once again. They have already broken their unilateral cease fire killing 2 farmers, a man and his son who went to their farm and were murdered by Israeli soldiers. Surviving sons said..Israel said there was a cease fire now they have killed our father.
Israel has pretty much lost any vestige of morality among all of its political leaders. We know this was a plolitical ploy to impress their voters. Who ever gets elected deserves it. They head one of the most brutal and despised regimes in the world. They are the current winner of that title.

tarek aylouch said...

Powerful argument and presentation hussam , let's hope any one is paying attention .

Anonymous said...

This is by one of the authors of "The Israel Lobby AND U.S. Foreign Policy"

http://www.amconmag .com/print. html?Id=AmConser vative-2009jan26 -00006

The only additional comments are:

1. The Israelis are drunk on U.S. weaponry. They have been on this drug for a while. So it is hard to see that forming good relations in the neighborhood is a stronger long term security measure.
2. Yet, what's most amazing is that the Jewish population of the settlements think they're in a fight for their survival (again) in spite of the fact that the settlements were made by displacing the indigenous people who are now under bombardment in Gaza !
3. Will the U.S. be there giving as much for ever?
4. So how will they step back from having massacred innocent people on a massive scale?